Car Parking In Australia For Non-Native Speakers

If you have read one of his articles before, Rishi Khandelwal had elaborated on the basic driving protocols and standards in Australia, which may also apply to other western countries.

This is a follow up article in the series, where he shares his experience about basic car parking from the perspective of a tourist or a visitor.

1. Loading Zone

This sign comes across frequently in busy commercial streets and other places all over Australia. If you are new to the western world you may interpret this sign as a place for you to park your car in case you are loading and unloading your baggage top and from the hotel etc. However, be warned this is a dedicated space only for commercial trucks, vans and delivery vehicles to load and unload bulky items. Rishi Khandelwal warns people not to park their passenger vehicles there because if a parking inspector walks by you will be fined a hefty amount, which is always more than ordinary parking fines (such as not buying parking tickets or parking for more than due time). For easy reference you can see an attached image of loading zone sign as well as a ute, which is an example of type of vehicle that can be parked there:

Loading Zone Sign above
Loading Zone Sign above
Image for post

Keep in mind that red is the colour theme of these type of signs.

2. Different types of Parking (Paid, Unpaid and Duration)

(a) Paid Parking

Comes in many forms, places and for different durations as well. You have the classic metered parking where you pay in the Meter Station it produces a ticket for a certain duration of time and the driver must display the ticket on the dashboard. See attached images for reference:

Paid Parking
Paid Parking
Paid Parking
Paid Parking
Paid Parking
Paid Parking

As you can see from above paid parking signs generally follow a blue colour scheme.

Once you understand this concept, please note that there are different variations to this system. Rishi Khandelwal states that sometimes there are parking meters in which you enter your car registration number. In other places he has seen metered poles on parking bays where you feed payment and then you get the allocated space for the duration of time you have paid for etc.

(b) Free Parking

This is generally denoted by green color P signs and specify the duration limits as well.

Free Parking
Free Parking

This is a classic free parking sign and Rishi Khandelwal can help you interpret it. This allows upto a maximum of 2 hours of parking within the time frame of 830 to 630 pm EVERYDAY. Outside these times people can park for whatever duration they wish to.

Similarly in another sign :

Image for post

Again it is for 2 hours but only in those days and time frame of the week, which means for example on Sundays whole day there is no limit.

3. Fines an enforcement

Finally, if you are a non-native don’t ever think that these signs are for show only. Authorities have different methods of enforcement. Technology is getting advanced and in some cities, they have vans monitoring around with cameras so if they take a round and see the car in one spot and after sometime they come back and record an image of your vehicle in the same position exceeding your parking stay, you will be booked. Plus, you never know when the inspectors are manually patrolling in what area to book for parking fines.

Finally, Rishi Khandelwal’s best advice is if you are not a local and are unsure just stick to the signs and limits or ask the help of any bystander around you.

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